Obama, Putin and Hollande - Bad ideas for the Twenty-First Century

With the recent elections of Putin in Russia and Hollande in France as well as the Obama re-election “Forward” campaign, Americans have a full menu of alternatives to a free-market driven Constitutional Republic. Photo: www.realclearworld.com

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2012 — With the recent elections of Putin in Russia and Hollande in France as well as the official kick-off of the Obama re-election “Forward” campaign, Americans have a full menu of alternatives to a free-market driven Constitutional Republic. The examples set by these leaders in action and/or policy draw a picture of what will not stabilize economies and thus societies. The good news is that the blueprint for what will return prosperity still exists.

The Obama Approach - Progressivism

Obama embraces a Progressive approach to governance. Ronald J. Pestritto, author and professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, explains Progressivism as a belief that circumstances rather than fixed principles should determine governance; human nature can be reshaped making way for a perfect society run by enlightened, unelected government experts (think Czars).

Limited government, self-evident truths, separation of powers, checks and balances - all of that is “old school” to the Progressive and must be rejected in favor of a “living Constitution” (think evolving positions on issues).

President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society embodied the notion that the American Constitution is no longer valid because it hampers control of society by dispersing governing power across the states and over the branches of government.

Yet, these are the very ideas essential to American freedom and self-governance.

WILLIAM SCHAMBRA, writing in National Affairs, explains well Obama’s mentality. For him, problems of health care, education, and the environment cannot be solved in small pieces but with one-size fits all policy managed from Washington, DC. Obama believes that government exists not to protect the people and their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness but to run every aspect of society from cradle to grave.

For example, in a 2009 speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Obama said, “It’s time to give all Americans a complete and competitive education from the cradle up through a career…It’s time to move beyond the idea that we need several different programs to address several different problems” (i.e., state-by-state solutions). He continued, “We need one comprehensive policy that addresses our comprehensive challenges.”

Schambra writes, “…Critical elements of the constitutional system — the executive cabinet, federal decentralization, the separation of powers, and the extended commercial republic — serve to shred and fragment policy proposals as they make their way from the minds of their expert designers (Czars) through departmental bureaucracy and legislative committees (not to mention their hearings in the court of public opinion).”

The most revealing statement of Obama’s disdain for the American system of government and the people came during a 2008 San Francisco campaign fundraiser: “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

In other words, those old American values “are poor substitutes for a sophisticated understanding of the larger networks of causality that determine the lives of everyday Americans,” as Schambra explains.

The French President, Francois Hollande, Approach - Socialism

Socialism is economic and political theory advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods as well as a transitional place between capitalism and communism.

As France’s first Socialist leader in almost 20 years, French President-elect Francois Hollande promised to move quickly to implement higher taxes on the rich to help finance increased state spending.

In an interview with Time magazine Hollande said, “People need to see signs of equal treatment across society. Those will not only be reflected in increased spending. They can be in moves to increase public income. In (raising taxes), you must show that if everyone is being asked to make greater effort, those who have the most will be asked to contribute their full share first. People must see that while the collective effort may be long and difficult, it’s going to be fair—and involve everyone.”

Here are a few planks in the Hollande political platform:

  • Supports the withdrawal of French troops present in Afghanistan by the end of 2012
  • Backs the creation of a European rating agency and the separation of lending and investment in banks
  • Endorses reducing the share of nuclear power in electricity generation from 75% to 50% in favor of renewable energy sources
  • Supports the merger of income tax and the General Social Contribution (CSG) and capping tax loopholes at a maximum of €10,000 per year
  • Restoration of retirement at age 60 for those who have worked more than 41 years
  • Supports same-sex marriage and adoption for LGBT couples

Hollande has also promised to renegotiate the reforms negotiated with the European Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the EU’s fiscal pact is nonnegotiable, based on tough labor market reforms that have strengthened Germany over the last decade. Greece is currently rejecting these same reforms.

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, Approach – Benevolent Dictatorship

In spite of the riots across Moscow, yet again following Putin’s latest political “win” on May 7, he probably is best described as a benevolent dictator. The benevolent dictator is authoritarian yet doles out benefits to the larger population, as long as they keep their democratic decision-making within the confines of what pleases the dictator.

Putin seems to have grasped the utter failure of Communism yet is unwilling to let go of the command and control approach. Putin, like China’s leaders, see the benefits of capitalism unleashing the human urge to do well. He has employed macroeconomic principles, a flat income tax of 13 percent, coherent energy policy and other reforms to create political and economic stability.

A brief synopsis of his career following many years with the KGB:

  • Acting President following the surprising resignation of Boris Yeltsin in 1999
  • Prime Minister from 1999 - 2000
  • President from 2000 – 2008
  • Prime Minister from 2008 – 2012
  • President again 2012
  • Simultaneously United Russia Chairman
  • Simultaneously Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus

Constitutional mandated term limits kept Putin from a third consecutive Presidential term but his friend, and Obama’s friend, Dmitry Medvedev made Putin Prime Minister until he could run for president again in 2012.

As reported in the Washington Post, Obama had the disquieting open-mic moment in Seoul, South Korea when he told Medvedev to pass the message to Putin: “Let me get reelected first, he said; then I’ll have a better chance of making something happen.

 “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space,”  “Yeah, I understand,” Medvedev, replies, “I understand your message about space. Space for you.” “This is my last election,” Obama interjects. “After my election, I have more flexibility.”

The people get free stuff or freedom.

President Obama’s policies and attitudes are much too similar to those leaders around the world who continue to implement approaches to governance that will always fail. History has proven repeatedly that Socialism, Communism and certainly a dictatorship of any form does not promote prosperity and freedom. It’s time to choose – free stuff or freedom. It will take more than one freedom-loving president to turn this ship back in the right direction. It will take a citizenry engaged in politics, good judges, Congressional and Senate representatives for at least a generation. However, we’ve got to start some place.

Carla Garrison follows current events with one eye on history and the other on the future.  Her goal is to encourage people to know the truth and use it as a call to personal action. Read more at Truth be Told.

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Carla Garrison

Carla writes about current issues and events with an aim toward telling the truth, using the writings of great thinkers, dead and living, as well as common sense.

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